Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to school

Last year I read this in the blogs of second-year teachers and it made me want to cry, but it turns out it's true: It is infinitely better being a second-year teacher than it is being a first-year teacher. It was very satisfying to walk into the building today and move my time card, search out my new mailbox (already full of information) and greet people I hadn't seen all summer. (It didn't hurt that last year on the first day of school I did not receive a schedule, an office, a desk, keys, or any darn clue what I was supposed to be doing there, whereas this year I have all of these things!)

There were even people I could gravitate towards sitting myself with (my second grade team!), and I got to share the news that I had gotten engaged over the summer, which led to a lot of hugs and congratulations and oohing over my ring and questions about how and when the proposal happened, whether we had set a date, and so on. We've been engaged two months now, so getting to re-live it in the presence of many excited female colleagues was fun.

All in all, I am remarkably not nervous about this year, a mood that will either serve me well or blow up in my face when things turn out to be more difficult than I expected. But for now, I'm just enjoying the feeling, as teeny-tiny as it may be, of kinda sorta knowing what I'm doing...if only a little bit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The fall's gonna kill ya

This morning, I did it. The thing I had been dreading and putting off all summer. I opened my hall closet, climbed up on my little stepladder, and hauled down the shopping bags of crap school supplies I had heaved up there in a giddy fit of summer fever in June.

I weeded through the stacks of papers I had unceremoniously dumped together in a desperate attempt to empty out my office in a timely fashion. I pulled out some binders and checklists I thought I would need for the first few days of school and piled them next to my all-purpose Carol School Supply bag, filled with the behavior charts and "Great Work" tickets and "Super Reader" pencils I bought back when I thought I would still be getting $260 worth of teacher's choice money. I unearthed my new planner and filled in September's dates. Then I put the essentials in my brand-new school bag.

It wasn't so bad.

Then I went out for a run. It was already almost 9 am, but the air was cool and crisp. It felt like fall. And that's when I remembered: I like fall. I'm running the New York City marathon this fall. I'm getting married next fall. The fall is nothing to be afraid of.

There are two things I know for sure: (1) There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that the start of this school year can be as overwhelming or nerve-racking as last year; and (2) Even if it is, I can handle it.

It's almost time to go back. And even though I may not want the summer to end, I'll be ready when it does. Bring it on, second grade.